Drug rehab center in Pangasinan nearing reality

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The proposed drug rehabilitation center of the province in Burgos, Pangasinan will soon be a reality as the provincial board passed a resolution on Monday authorizing Governor Amado Espino III to sign and accept the donation of a two-hectare lot in Burgos town to be used for that facility.

Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario, author of the measure, said that the move is necessary since there was no formal acceptance before of the lot donated to the provincial government by former Burgos Mayor Demetrio Cabiles, now deceased, in 1992.

In 1992, the late Mayor Cabiles, with the marital consent of his wife Belen, signed a deed of donation over a two-hectare lot of their property in Barangay San VIcente, Burgos as site of a proposed rehabilitation center during the administration of then Governor Rafael M. Colet.

However, the donation was not fully accepted by the province especially after Colet lost his reelection bid to comebacking Governor Aguedo F. Agbayani.

Board Member Antonio Sison said one condition of the donation was it must be accepted and acknowledged within three years after the donation, which was not done by the Agbayani administration that took over from then Gov. Colet.

What is good is that the heirs of former Mayor Cabiles are not running away from the donation made by their patriarch with the consent of their matriarch Belen.

Consulted on the matter, Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine Baniqued said Gov. Espino has sent retired Col. Luchinvar Oro, chief of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), to contact the Cabiles family.

He reported that lawyer Aldrin Cabiles, a son of the late mayor, said they still recognize and value the donation made by his father with the consent of their mother.

For this development, Board Member Rosario said it is necessary that Gov. Espino be authorized to accept the land donation considering the fact that the Department of National Defense as well as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) turned down the request of the Pangasinan provincial government to make available at least a 10-hectare portion of the Camp Tito Abat of the Philippine Army in Manaoag town to become the site of a boot camp-type of drug rehabilitation center.

However, though DND and AFP won’t allow any part of Camp Tito Abat to be used as drug rehabilitation center, they however offered PA’s Andres Malong camp in Binmaley town as an alternative site for the drug rehab center.

Gov. Espino, however, is reluctant to make the Binmaley army camp a rehabilitation center because it is not fenced and no fixed infrastructure can be found there yet.

The governor, however, is not completely turning down the Camp Andres Malong army camp as a possible site for a rehabilitation center as this might still rise with the help of his father, Fifth District Rep. Amado Espino Jr., and the rest of congressmen of Pangasinan.

Rosario said once the donation is completed, the provincial government will fence the area and raise funds so that it will have a new drug rehabilitation center, similar to the one in Dagupan City started by then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and his wife Gina which was completed by the Department of Health.

The drug rehab center in Dagupan operated by the DOH can accommodate only 300 drug dependents at one time but rehabilitation is not free as it will charge P10,000 per month per client. PNA-northboundasia.com